LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Search for alien intelligence. Conceptual artwork of an optical (laser) message (red) being received from a distant star by an observatory. A helix of the genetic molecule DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and chromosomes (orange) may represent the alien intelligence sending the coded signal (black). The optical search for extraterrestrial intelligence (OSETI) projects scan the optical and infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Most SETI projects scan the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, using radio telescopes. OSETI projects were first proposed when SETI projects began in the 1960s, but the technology only became feasible from 2001.
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